Krissie Simpkins lands treble and Cox Plate victory at Mudgee

What a day it was for Krissie Simpkins and her family at Mudgee on Saturday when winning three races and the GC Cox Plate. Photo: Racing Photography.

For Muswellbrook trainer, Krissie Simpkins, Cox Plate Day 2021 will forever be a special day for her stable. 

Simpkins combined with her partner, Billy Cray, landing three victories on the non-TAB program and in the process, the pair won the time-honoured Mudgee GC Cox Plate.

“It was amazing,” Simpkins said.

“I didn’t go there expecting a treble. I expected all of them to finish top five. 

“I thought if I got one winner that would be good and getting three was impressive and such a special moment.”

Simpkins quinellaed the 1100m fillies and mares Maiden Plate, with Candy Pants (Billy Cray) just edging stablemate, Twittersphere (Ken Dunbar).

Simpkins and Cray combined to win the 1200m Class One Handicap with Superel before taking out the GC Cox Plate – a Benchmark 50 Handicap over the 1600m – with Aisle Six.

Simpkins had suffered a few close defeats at Mudgee prior to Saturday, and she joked that luck was finally on her side when racing at the popular Central Districts track.

“It was such a good day. I hadn’t won there before, but I’ve had a couple of placings in the past,” Simpkins said.

“It’s not been a bad track to go to, but I’ve been a bit unlucky just getting beat a neck a few times, but I got all the good luck this time.” 

Simpkins has only been training since 2020, and she landed her first winner at Gilgandra in February with ‘Do It’ winning the Tooraweenah Cup. 

A second winner followed at Warren last month when Aisle Six won the 1600m Benchmark 50 Handicap.

A winning-treble so early on is a boost to the stable, and Simpkins explained that she only planned to keep a boutique-sized team in work.

“I’ve been training for just over a year. It was great to get my first winner at Gilgandra and our result at Mudgee – I just never expected that,” Simpkins said.

“I’ve got seven in work; five are racing and two are just babies, but with family and kids, I’m already training full time and I’m a full-time mother at that.

“At the moment, we are just focused on having 10 to 15 horses in work, so we can make sure every horse is getting the attention they need without just being another number.

“Maybe down the track, when the kids are older, Billy and I might move to a bigger stable, but right now, we are pretty happy.”

The young trainer is certainly bred to be in the industry, being the daughter of Bryan T Dixon and Sharon Simpkins, while her brother Bryan Dixon, has a large stable of horses in work at Gilgandra.

“Mum and dad both trained racehorses when I was a kid and that started things off for me, and I worked in stables and obviously dad still trains out at Gilgandra,” Simpkins said.

“Dads from Inverell, and as kids, we were everywhere. We lived in Casino, Ipswich, Bundaberg and Tamworth and dad has been in Gil (Gilgandra) for about five years now.

After time away from the industry, Simpkins came back to the racing, helping her father, before venturing out on her own.

“I took a few odd jobs in racing, but I got a real job and did that for a while before coming back,” Simpkins said.

“I was helping dad out a lot at the races and he told me to get my licence and I ended up jumping through the hoops to get that done and started out training last year.” 

When asked what made her approach to training different from every other trainer, Simpkins said she was a patient conditioner, and she would train horses according to how they wanted to be trained, and she would place horses in suitable races.

“For me, it’s just about getting to know the horses and working them out,” Simpkins said.

“I’m a big believer that if you make a horse happy, they will improve, and if you get to know them and find a suitable race to place them, you will get the best out of them.”

Simpkins will get a chance to add to her Mudgee treble at Dubbo on Melbourne Cup Day, with three gallopers in action on the non-TAB program.

Twittersphere takes on the 1200m Maiden Plate, Superel contests the 1200m Benchmark 50 Handicap and Triple Red goes around in the 1600m Benchmark 50 Handicap.

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